Sensible, family-loving teens behind pregnancy rate drop

Latest news

    Young woman on her phone with earphones inImage copyright Getty Images

    Teenagers are becoming less likely to have sex, preferring to spend time with their families and having romantic relationships online, a study suggests.

    A survey of 1,000 16- to 18-year-olds also found they were drinking much less.

    The British Pregnancy Advisory Service said this may explain the sharp fall in teen pregnancies in the UK since 2007.

    Two-thirds of the teenagers surveyed said they had never had sex. And 24% said they had never drunk alcohol.

    Daily diaries

    The BPAS report said this current generation of teenagers appeared to be more sensible, more focused on their education and future careers and wanted to avoid pregnancy.

    More than 80% of those surveyed said performing well in exams or succeeding in their chosen career was their top priority, compared with 68% who said spending time with friends was of most importance.

    Young people were also more likely to view time with their family as of high importance than time with their friends.

    And many said work and study commitments meant organising time to see friends was difficult.

    But daily diaries filled in by teenagers as part of the survey also reveal they are spending an average of almost five hours online every day for non-work or study reasons.

    Less than a quarter of those surveyed spoke to their friends face to face as frequently as they spoke to them online – and 70% spoke to them online four times a week or more.

    The researchers suggest young people who regularly socialise face to face with their friends or partners are more likely to be sexually active.

    Sex education

    Teenage pregnancy rates have been dropping for 20 years across all nations of the UK after a government strategy was introduced to tackle some of the highest in Western Europe.

    The strategy, which led to better access to contraceptive services and more sex education in schools and clinics, lasted 10 years – but rates have continued to fall, by 50% since 2007.

    In 1969, the conception rate was 47 per 1,000 women aged 15-17 – in 2016, it was just 18.9.

    Image copyright Getty Images

    The BPAS survey found attitudes had also changed – four out of five young people felt there was now a stigma attached to becoming a teenage parent and young women no longer expected to be supported by the state or their family if they became pregnant.

    Most said they always or usually used contraception when having sex, although 14% said they “rarely” or “never” did.

    ‘Different choices’

    BPAS head of policy research Katherine O’Brien said the government’s plan for mandatory relationships and sex education in schools from September 2019 could bring down teenage conception rates even further if it was comprehensive enough.

    She said: “Our research reveals that this is a generation who are focused on their education, aware of economic challenges but determined to succeed regardless and many of whom enjoy time with their families as much as with partners and friends.

    “They seem to place significant value on responsibility and maturity, particularly when it comes to alcohol consumption and sex.

    “We believe that young people themselves are making different choices about the way they live their lives.”

    Contraceptive services

    However, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists president Prof Lesley Regan said strong regional variations in teenage pregnancy still existed.

    It was disappointing that “a significant proportion of young people are not receiving a high-quality of sex and relationships education”.

    And cuts to local public health budgets were making it difficult for some young people to access contraceptive services.

    She called on the government to ensure the needs of young people were met “as a matter of urgency”.

    View the original article:

    In the same category are

    UK inflation rate rises for first time since November UK inflation rose to 2.5% in July, after holding steady at 2.4% in the previous three months as the cost of computer games and transport increased.I...
    Kevin de Bruyne: Man City midfielder on Pep Guardiola, the Champions League and more Man City documentary 'as real as possible' - De BruyneManchester City "will never have a season like last year" as they attempt to become the first P...
    Cystic fibrosis boy, 8, urges firm to lower Orkambi drug price Image caption Luis Walker wrote to the Prime Minister asking for her help to make the drug available An eight-year-old boy with cystic fibrosis ha...
    Twitter suspends Alex Jones for one week Image copyright EPA Image caption Alex Jones will not be able to post new messages or comment on others' posts for a week Twitter is blocking the ...
    Why Spurs face a crucial couple of weeks after failure to make signings – Jermaine Jenas I agree with Mauricio Pochettino when he says it is fine that Tottenham did not sign anyone this summer - but what does concern me is who could still...
    Ben Te’o: England centre says injuries made him consider his rugby-playing future Centre Ben Te'o has played 13 times for EnglandEngland and Worcester centre Ben Te'o says his injury problems of the past year left him contemplating...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.